Making your home look more upscale can seem difficult if you have a tight budget. To but don’t worry—it’s not impossible. There are actually many ways to get that high-end vibe that you’ve always wanted without spending a lot of money. From simply giving your walls a fresh coat of paint to upgrading your window treatments, there are plenty of easy solutions out there. Here we have compiled some of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make your living space look much more elegant.
Tip #1: Paint those walls.
Some colours are simply more luxurious than others. If a ritzy look is what you’re after, then you need to stick to certain hues that add glamour instantly to any space. Decide on one of two options: (1) soft and understated or (2) bold and dramatic. The ‘right’ choice really depends on the ambiance you want to create as well as your personality. After all, YOU will be living in that space.
Here’s something you can probably do by yourself: Paint all of your interior doors black to instantly create an expensive feeling for almost no money. Add some black accessories to tie space together.
Tip #2: Install crown moulding.
Details are key to making a home look custom-made. This is why you will often see gorgeous crown moulding in stately homes and chic apartments. It makes any room finished and more polished. It also brings together the ceiling and the walls for that elegant and cohesive appearance.
Luckily crown moulding is not that expensive. You can even get those paintable plastic versions to stretch your budget further. To make the grandest impact, go for a wide trim.
Tip #3: Get good pillows.
Pillows don’t just make your guests feel more comfortable on your couch. When layered correctly, they can also make your space look more sophisticated. Choose pillows that feel soft and luxurious—down-filled, if the budget allows. They have to be big enough to rest on. Go larger than the usual 12- to 18-inch type. You want pillows that are big and overstuffed if you want to achieve a plush and lavish look.
Tip #4: Choose unique hardware finishes.
It’s amazing how high-quality knobs and pulls can instantly make even Ikea cabinets look high-end, or even custom-made. So switch out those generic and cheap-looking hardware for something more substantial. You don’t necessarily have to splash out on designer stuff or even buy brand new. To save money, try eBay or flea markets—they are the best place to look for heavy-duty, opulent-looking, and super unique drawer pulls and knobs at affordable prices.
Tip #5: Create layers of light.
Lighting is one of the major factors that differentiate a chic space from one that’s drab and uninspiring. So don’t settle for the standard lighting fixtures that your house came with. Remember: Even the most expensive furniture will look cheap under unflattering light, and even affordable furnishings can look high-end when lit properly. It’s always worth the money to invest in designer lighting to elevate your space.
But if you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry—there are ways to get that upscale look for a fraction of the price. Try adding a drum shade around an old chandelier (from your grandma or from a second-hand store). It’s a wonderful and inexpensive way to get that custom-made look for a lot less. Your old chandelier might need some buffing or perhaps even a fresh coat of paint, but that small effort can make it look a million bucks.
Layering light is also important so you can create different moods as you wish. Make sure that there are several light sources in your space—from table lamps to floor lamps—to underscore that elegant vibe.
Tip #6: Choose the right curtains.
It can be tempting to slap on the cheapest polyester curtains to your window and call it a day, but this novice mistake can really make a home look shoddy. Contrary to what most people believe, elegant curtains need not be expensive—you just have to know where to look. Stay away from flimsy and see-through materials that add no function or beauty to your space.
If your budget allows, have your curtains custom-made to truly fit your windows and the height of your ceiling. But if there’s no money for custom, you buy off-the-rack curtains in good fabrics—think linen, cotton, or natural silk.
Draperies not your style? Try wooden blinds or bamboo shades. Whatever you choose, make sure to always dress your windows to add polish to your home.
Tip #7: Bring in some touches of gold.
Accessorizing your home with a bit of gold can have a dramatic effect on how high-end it looks. Don’t go overboard, of course, or your house will end up looking gaudy. The best way to bring sheen into your space is to get a couple of modern gold-legged chairs or tables. They are all the rage these days in designer showrooms. You can also bring in some gold picture frames or gold mirrors.
Tip #8: Keep it clean.
A clean home is an elegant home. Regular housekeeping can really do wonders in how luxurious your house feels. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to truly make your living space elegant and inviting.
Have a regular schedule for cleaning and de-cluttering your space. Throw out or donate unused things to create a feeling of lightness and free up some square footage. Dust and vacuum at least once every week. If you see spots on your furniture or rugs, deal with them quickly so that nothing looks shabby. Regularly clean your windows as well to let more natural light in. This can do wonders for making your space look well-appointed—and you don’t need to spend any money to do it.